Nanny State

Jilted Dentist Calls CPS on Mom

Watch out for the narc with the Waterpik.


Fotoagentur WESTEND61 Westend61/Newscom

Melissa Lopez, a resident of Ontario, Canada, took her 10-year-old daughter to the dentist and was informed that the child had a mouthful of cavities. Lopez was told to bring her daughter back in soon to have fillings done.

But Lopez wanted a second opinion so she switched dentists. The second dentist found fewer cavities.

In the meantime, the first dentist reported Lopez to child protective services for possible "oral neglect."

When the authorities investigated, they discovered that Lopez was not an abusive mom but rather a skeptical consumer of dentistry. So the authorities quickly dropped the investigation and closed the case.

Unfortunately, child protective services is refusing to remove the investigation file from the books. According to the CBC:

[T]he file, Lopez claims she was told, is permanent.

"It will always be there, 10, 15, 20 years from now," she said. "I'm red-flagged, I've been marked, and there's no reason for this to have happened."

The agency says it retains files for "accountability." But if the charges were found meritless, why should they remain a permanent part of Lopez's record?

Under Canadian law, individuals may petition to have criminal charges erased from their records starting five months after the charges are withdrawn, dismissed, or the suspect is acquitted. Yet child protective services will mark Lopez for life. As the CBC reports:

Andrea Maenza, communications co-ordinator for the Durham Children's Aid Society, said that [its] protocol is mandated by the Child and Family Services Act…. [She] stressed that there aren't necessarily negative implications from having a permanent case file, since all the information about the interaction is included, including why it was closed.

"An individual can ask for a copy of their record to know exactly what it says," she added.

I wouldn't feel better knowing that I could ask for a file about myself and find it filled with baseless accusations that were eventually cleared. I'd feel better if anyone who asked about me was told, "Sorry, this person doesn't have a record."

As for the dentist, the folks at child protective services say he did the right thing by alerting them to the mom's possible negligence. Never mind the damage done to the mother's reputation.

Something has gone very wrong in the law when an innocent family can be dragged through the mud like this.

NEXT: Crony Capitalism on Display in California's Cap-and-Trade Re-Authorization

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  1. Sounds like the dentist was attempting insurance fraud. He should be reported.

    1. For adult abuse.

    2. Like the government is not aware dentists and doctors commit insurance fraud.

      1. That’s why no one ever reports murders or burglaries. The government is well aware that people sometimes do these things.

    3. For perjury. Are such complaints not legal documents taken under oath or the equivalent? if they are not, then they should be ignored.

  2. In the USA, there would be a lawsuit against the dentist trying to overcharge and filing a false report.

    1. And Donald Trump himself would ritually strangle the dentist on the steps of the Capitol, right?

      1. TDS.

        1. I’m not making fun of Trump. I’m making fun of you, for believing that Trump is some kind of libertarian superhero. You’re kind of a one-note kazoo, aren’t you?

          1. Without taking sides in this, only one person brought up Trump. You may have an overall point, but you didn’t make it very well here.

            1. You must not be familiar with loveconstitution1789’s commenting history.

              1. You made it clear you think he talks about Trump a lot which seemingly would be something you would want to avoid. In this case he didn’t talk about Trump or really post anything relevant to Trump in any way at all so one wonders why you don’t reinforce the behavior you’re actually looking for.

                It looks like petty vengeance really.

                1. You must not be familiar with Hit’n’Run. We have traditions here, man.

              2. I point out how Trump has done some Libertarian-ish things.

                You still are upset that Trump won and refuse to admit the good he occasionally does.

                We all know when Trump does something bad like nominate Sessions as AG.

        2. #9832;

            1. Say it, don’t spray it.

              1. Don’t tell me what to do!

            1. You monsters broke Zeb!

              1. He was the last sane one standing.

                1. Wait a second, you’re saying there are sane people who come here?

    2. My last dentist charged the insurance company for a few things that he didn’t do. I called them to tell them about it and the chick on the phone asked me what I wanted to do about it. I’m like, you’re the ones he defrauded. I was just letting you know. They didn’t give the slightest bit of a shit.

  3. This would never happen in the UK.

    1. No socialist ever mentions that a country like the UK, with national healthcare, still has a stereotypical problem dental trainwrecks.

      1. To be fair, dentists in the UK have a lot on their plate.

        1. That is not a metaphor.

        2. Liar, there are no dentists in the UK.

  4. I see it differently. Unless you start enforcing the “right to be forgotten” in the most coercive destructive scorched-earth manner, there will always be some remnant of this news available. The proper solution here is to make sure that the official record shows what the conclusion was — that the dentist was a cronyist dick.

    Another aspect is that there needs to be accountability. You charge someone with a crime which is disproved, you should suffer consequences. I read that in Britain, if you charge someone with libel and want 1M in damages, but the court only awards 100K in damages, you are considered the loser and have to pay court costs. I would love something similar. This dentist made ridiculous charges and needs to be smacked down. I would have perjury punished by whatever the punishment would have been had the perjury not been detected — if you try to frame someone for murder, you are punished as your victim would have been. Whether the dentist was honest or slapdash doesn’t matter — he pushed it through to CPS, he is responsible, and needs to be held accountable.

    And that should be in the mother’s permanent record too — showing taht the charges were foundless, that she was the victim of an overzealous crony dentist.

    1. Just flame the dentist on Yelp. “This so-called doctor said my kid had 25 cavities. A reputable dentist found 4. Then the first jerk reported me to CPS for nothing. Don’t go there, ever.”

      1. Except anyone googles and finds the CPS record needs to find the resolution too, and it should be noteworthy enough that interested parties can google the dentist.

    2. That’s the same thought I had on reading Ms. Skenazy’s opinion: that she was for a right to be forgotten.

  5. Some details:

    The mother had no insurance, so no insurance fraud. She also saw no reason to tell the first dentist.

    Because the family doesn’t have dental insurance, they would have to pay for the work themselves, so Lopez decided to get a second opinion.

    Another dentist in the area told her Elianna had fewer cavities, so Lopez decided to get the fillings completed at that clinic and said she didn’t notify the other dentist that she had made the switch.

    The government requires reporting such instances, possibly:

    According to the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO), that first dentist was just doing his job.

    Under the Child and Family Services Act, everyone in Ontario has a responsibility to report suspected child abuse and neglect, said Kevin Marsh, director of communications for the RCDSO.

    “Health-care professionals and other people who work closely with children have a special responsibility under the act,” he added.

    They’re actually required to report suspected neglect, Marsh explained, and can be fined if it’s determined that they should have reported and chose not to.

    The grounds for what constitutes suspected neglect are “wide open,” however, meaning it’s largely up to individual health care professionals to make the call.

    “You don’t have to have proof of abuse or neglect, just reasonable grounds,” Marsh said.

    1. It’s always interesting to see the ways various governments try to wiggle around the concept of due process.

    2. I’m sure a similar law will be passed in this country soon enough, if not already (3 felonies a day and all that).

    3. If you see something, say something.
      If you suspect something, report it.
      Hail Big Brother.
      Hail Hydra.

    4. How could a woman who didn’t have insurance, and who had just brought her kid in to be seen by a dentist, be ‘negligent’ considering that she just brought the kid to see the god damn dentist?

      By this logic, anyone who is poor or price conscious is automatically guilty of negligence, right?

      Jesus. On top of that, is Dentistry exempted in Canada for their nationalized health care system? It seems like Dentists are somehow the only type of ‘doctor’ that manage to get out of these train wrecks. It makes me wonder if they know something I don’t.

  6. The more laws we pass in the interest of “the children” or whatever, the more opportunities there are to be dicked in this manner just because we pissed someone off or just didn’t do things their way. It’s just what assholes do, and legislation is their cudgel.

  7. But if the charges were found meritless, why should they remain a permanent part of Lopez’s record?

    Because FYTW.

    1. Say they were expunged; there’d still be this story here at HyR.

  8. As it so happens, ‘oral neglect’ was my nickname in college and is the name of my current band.

    1. Beat me to it. I was hoping to finally make a post people liked, and you stole it from me.

      1. It’s your lucky day coz nobody was going to like that comment.

  9. Way to encourage parents to take their kids to the dentist to deal with bad teeth. Gee, the kid’s teeth need a lot of work, but I might get reported to CPS (permanently), so I guess I’ll just let the teeth fall out.

  10. Shit, you can get reported for oral neglect? Don’t tell my wife (or do tell my wife if that makes a funnier joke; I can’t decide if sexist or self-deprecating works better).

  11. In the meantime, the first dentist reported Lopez to child protective services for possible “oral neglect.”

    If’ I’d have known, I would have called authorities on my ex-wife for “oral neglect”.

  12. Oral fucking neglect?

    Jesus. Fuck.

    1. Isn’t that an old Jim Crow law intended to penalize young black men?

  13. Oral Negleck would be a good name for an Appalachian lawyer in a John Grisham novel.

  14. But if the charges were found meritless, why should they remain a permanent part of Lopez’s record?

    Because it’s not a criminal record, and the permanent record should say that she was entirely in the right and that the complaint was baseless?

    That might well be useful to her if, oh, the same sort of complaint comes in again?

    I can’t think of a first principle that says the State shouldn’t record when you were in the right and a complaint against you was BS; unlike a criminal charge, for one thing, CPS records aren’t public, are they?

    If CPS is “Red Flagging” her, as accused, that’s another, far bigger problem; the presence of “a record” that only says she was doing nothing wrong should not be a “Red Flag”, for obvious reasons.

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